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GIVE FISH A CHANCE: on World Oceans Day Zagreb got the smog eating Augmented Reality mural

The capital’s district, where streets are named after islands, is richer for another marine element– a big sea mural. The mural is a result of a collaboration between WWF Adria, street artist Boris Bare and animators Mate Žaja and Duje Stojak.

ZAGREB - On World Oceans Day, Zagreb's Sigečica district, where the streets are named after the Adriatic islands, got what it lacked - the sea! The mural  "Give fish a chance" is unique for at least two reasons. The first is that it is adorned with an additional layer of augmented reality that is activated by a smartphone or tablet. All you need to do is install the Artivive application for free, walk to Rapska 26b, scan the mural and bring the sea to life on the screen of your device. This is the first such mural in Croatia, and another one is coming to Split.

Another thing - it eats smog! The used paint eliminates the main pollutants present in the air (including nitrogen oxides harmful to human health) and prevents the growth of bacteria, moulds and spores.The manufacturer states that an area of 100 square meters covered with this paint acts as a forest of the same area. There is certainly no paint that can replace the services and benefits of trees, but in a city with little greenery per capita, it can’t be bad.
The mural is created as a part of Fish Forward, a pan-European project  raising awareness of social and environmental impacts of seafood consumption. Sea is the main source of food for much of the world's population and yet, most of the fish stocks are overfished. The EU is one of the biggest seafood importers in the world, and half of the overall imported seafood products come from developing countries, where almost a billion people depend on the sea as the main source of food and income.

Changes are not only happening in the distant oceans, they are also present in the Adriatic, which you can measure by your own experience. If you had the opportunity to dive into the sea 30 years ago and today, you know that these are two completely different worlds. This is confirmed by a group of international scientists on the island of Molat, who are in recent days led by WWF Adria in search of angelshark (Squatina squatina), once widely represented, today critically endangered and strictly protected species of shark.

“Due to intensive fishing, we have brought this species almost to extinction. Recently, one young specimen was caught as a bycatch and returned to the sea thanks to a conscientious fisher and the Pula Aquarium. It is important to know that many species are facing a similar fate which will also affect food security. Protection and recovery are possible by introducing measures such as no-take zones ", said Patrik Krstinić from WWF Adria.

Squatina squatina is also on the Zagreb mural, and as it must not remain alive only as an augmented reality, in the decade ahead we have to make sure to use sea resources responsibly and sustainably.

"We take much more from the sea and much faster than 50 years ago. We do not give it enough time or space to recover. People depend on food production which in turn depends on healthy habitats. That is why it is extremely important to protect at least 30% of the world's seas and oceans by 2030. Today, only 7% is under some form of protection, which is insufficient ", concludes Petra Počanić, Fish Forward project manager at WWF Adria.

Mural in Zagreb

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